Brunswick NOBs vs South Melbourne Districts

Division 2
Score: 60 - 65
Brunswick Brunswick NOBs
South Melbourne Districts South Melbourne Districts
44 - 37
Wattle Park Amateurs Wattle Park Amateurs
28 - 26

Match Report

After scrambling over-the-line in their two previous matches, Brunswick’s unbeaten start to the season came to an end on Saturday at Gillon Oval as a more desperate South Melbourne Districts took the points in what turned out to be a cliffhanger finish.

The opening quarter was an arm wrestle, but the early signs were ominous for the NOBS as the Swans applied very good forward pressure and looked dangerous on the counterattack. Hayden Parker scored Brunswick’s first goal from a free kick, and the second from a good lead and mark. The visitors’ two goals came from a nice finish from the boundary and a classy snap, and they led by a couple of behinds at the first break.

Kristian Ciciulla opened the scoring for the NOBs early in the second quarter with a crumbing goal, but the Swans responded with the next couple as they transitioned the ball well from defence. Brunswick dominated the inside-50s count but were struggling to get reward for effort as their entries were ineffectual, until Zephyr Hooke got on the end of a nice chain. A string of behinds at either end was then broken by a second goal to Ciciulla from a free kick, followed by Parker’s third, also courtesy of a free, giving the home side a handy nine-point lead at the man change.

Brunswick’s third quarters this season have tended to be where they have won the game, but that script was flipped this time, as the visitors shutdown the home side’s run through the middle and scored a couple of crucial goals themselves, to make it 0.0 to 2.3 for the term, with a major on the siren from a free giving them a six-point advantage at the last break.

In a low-scoring affair, the first goal of the final quarter would be critical, and it was the Swans who snagged it, followed by the next one, and they led by 19 points after eight minutes. Parker, who had a great battle with South Melbourne’s captain all day, took a strong mark and kicked truly for his fourth at the 15-minute mark to break the NOBs’ duck in the second half. Gus Coverdale then snapped one three minutes later to make it a one-goal game, but the Swans answered. Brunswick kept pressing though, as South tired, and when Joe Gale snapped a major over his left shoulder at the 23-minute mark, it was back to a goal, with plenty of time left. In a ding-dong finish, played almost exclusively in the NOBs’ half, they had one more chance but Oscar Watt’s curling snap to tie the scores slammed into the post, and the visitors did enough to hold on by five points.

It was the sort of day when many players made contributions, but it was hard to find four-quarter performers. Gabe Banova was one who battled hard in the midfield all day, while Kiwi Will Kempt had his best game in the ruck. Lewis White was rarely beaten down back, where Josh Mackie and Jackson Browne were also good. Parker’s four majors were important to keeping us in the contest and meant he crossed the 50-goal mark for the season.

The tough challenges keep on coming for Brunswick, particularly as the silly season of European travel has arrived, with Wattle Park away this week. Go well!

13. Hayden Parker 4 4
30. Kristian Ciciulla 2
1. Angus Coverdale 1
27. Joe Gale 1
45. Zephyr Hooke 1
11. Gabriel Banova 1
44. Will Kempt 2
23. Lewis White 3
26. Josh Mackie 5
7. Jackson Browne 6
2. Oscar Watt
3. Will McKenzie
4. Tomas O’Farrell
6. Lewis Bonney McKenzie
8. Ben Wilson
9. Rowan Hogenbirk
17. Tom Hedley
31. Patrick Gabriel
38. Archie Fulton-Grigg
41. Lachlan Pearson
46. Marcus Foti
49. Luca Perrone

Venue location

Gillon Oval

Pearson St, north of Victoria St, Brunswick VIC